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Mute

By Jane St. Clair Short Story

IT WAS MY IDEA to volunteer as a clown, but it was my therapist who suggested that I work as a mute because I am so talkative. That way I’d have to use my face and props to communicate instead of words. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, for I quickly got…

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The Bell Game

By Allison Pinkerton Short Story

THE WEIRDEST THING about what happened after everyone vanished? The church bells wouldn’t stop tolling. 1) Nobody died. It was an eternal life situation. 2) It was annoying for all the people who were left, always having to listen to bells every second that reminded them that 1) they should go to church more often…

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Yoineh Bodek

By Gershon Ben-Avraham Short Story

The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.                                               —Psalm 145:9 IN THE AUTUMN OF 1854, in the village of Grezhiv, in what was then known…

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Like Water on Stone

By Zeeva Bukai Short Story

Content warning: this story includes a depiction of sexual violence. SALIM PEERS THROUGH the peephole in the men’s room in Temple B’nai Moshe and sees two girls standing side by side at the row of sinks in the ladies’ bathroom. One is tall and slim with golden hair that cups her scalp like a swim…

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The Stand-In

By Jason Zencka Short Story

1 C AROLINE WAS PADDING, distracted and shoeless, through the weekday stillness of the empty church when she came upon Desmond’s wife standing on the other side of the back entrance. Framed by the double glass doors, Kim looked uncharacteristically small in an out-of-season winter jacket. Caroline offered up pastoral smile no. 6: Ironic Appreciation…

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Hymn to the Blessed Mother

By Shūsaku Endō Short Story

UNTIL LAST YEAR, I worked in a small apartment on Nampeidai in Shibuya. In actuality, the apartment was not on Nampeidai proper, but was located away from the main street and all its spacious mansions, and thus the deposit and the rent were not so very expensive. Of the apartment’s two rooms, I used one…

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Rock, Paper, Scissors

By Maxim Osipov Short Story

ONCE that creature had thudded to the floor and finally gone quiet, she had waited for her rage to subside and her breathing to return to normal before washing everything off at the hand basin in the toilet—the place she always washed. It was, perhaps, inadvisable to destroy all evidence of contact with the rapist—she realized…

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The Baptism of Sister Arlene Anderson

By Marilyn Abildskov Short Story

BETWEEN SLEEP AND WHAT FOLLOWS sleep, she pushes against water, gasping for air. It’s not until she wakes—at the edge of daylight—that her mind registers two thoughts simultaneously: that her knees ache, that Albert is still dead. On this, a Sunday morning, a third thought follows as she begins moving her legs to the edge of…

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Joshua

By Torgny Lindgren Short Story

JOSHUA WAS THE MOST corpulent man of his people. He would eat anything and everything edible that he laid eyes on: grasshoppers, fruit, eggs, meat, whether raw or cooked, plants and roots and ants; he was always chewing something. He would even devour bones and seedpods, since his eating knew no bounds. His corpulence was not…

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The Ladder

By Mika Seifert Short Story

THIS IS THE SEQUENCE of events that led to Peter Bumble’s downfall: in 1958, as you well know, the Totochabo regime came to power in a military coup that claimed the lives of thousands. Immediately following this, as a first order of business, stairs were declared outdated and no longer practicable for living. The lower stories…

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